Can I bake tortillas directly on my glass top range?

steve22802July 29, 2008

Hi all,

This probably sounds like a crazy idea, but I'm wondering if anyone has ever tried baking homemade tortillas directly on their glass range cooking surface. I've been on a gourmet tortilla baking spree lately and as I was trying to come up with a way to make them faster I got to wondering if I could just throw the tortillas directly onto the two large burners of my glass top range cooking surface. (I also have a electric skillet which is what I usually use so this would allow me to bake three tortillas at the same time.) Seems like it should work since it's nice and flat and would provide good even heat. Or would it be too hot when the burner kick in? Any other reasons why this might be a bad idea?



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I don't know if this is what you mean, but I buy tortillas and crisp them on directly on the burner of my gas stove. I use a metal tongs to grab the tortilla and turn it around several times. The whole process takes a minute or less. Then I toss the toasted tortilla on a board and cut it into wedges pizza style and use it for dipping into salsa or whatever.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 1:14PM
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> I don't know if this is what you mean, but I
> buy tortillas and crisp them on directly on the
> burner of my gas stove.

Well, not quite. I'm actually mixing up the dough myself, rolling them out and baking them for a minute on each side. I'm not just warming store bought tortillas.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 1:27PM
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Steve - I think you would create a cleaning nitemare. I think they would stick.
I recommend using a skillet on each burner + your electric skillet and you have 3!
I would never intentionally cook anything directly on the ceran smooth tops. Just my opinion - maybe someone else has and it works!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 1:28PM
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Steve: I guess that would be different. I don't have a ceramic top either. Just the regular cast-iron grates over the open burners.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 1:34PM
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Steve, I make tortillas and have a glasstop stove. I sometimes heat one on the glasstop to save time but it turns on and off, even on high, and is not an even heat. It also leaves a weird residue on it from the too hot periods. I'm hoping this is not something from the cleaners I use. You must be a fast tortilla maker because even with help, I don't usually have more than 2 cooking at a time. I use a hot old fashioned cast iron griddle on the stovetop. I find that the electric griddle (not part of the stove) is not hot enough for baking tortillas. My DM had a gas stove and she always reheated them directly on the heat but we always used a cast iron griddle for cooking them. I've lived with an electric stove all my married life and the only thing I like about them is the no-gas smell.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 1:40PM
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Thanks for all the quick replies! :) I guess I won't try cooking directly on the glass top. I think probably two cooking surfaces should be enough anyway since they do only bake for about a minute on each side. I'll just use the electric skillet and one frying pan.

Last night I made sun dried tomato and basil tortillas and they turned out great! :) I was rolling them out by hand but I was still getting ahead of the electric skillet. A friend is going to loan me a tortilla press so I expect that will speed the flattening process out even more. I think tonight I'll try making some rosemary and garlic flavored tortilla dough. :)

By the way, my electric skillet seems to work great for baking tortillas. It's nothing special, I got it at a thrift store. Teflon surface, 1200watts. The thermostat goes up to 425 but I've been running it on the 350 degree mark and that seems to work well. I've also learned that the trick to keeping tortillas nice and soft and flexible is to immediately stack them inside a damp dish towel (flat weave not terry.)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 2:40PM
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Steve, I think the cycling of the element would lead to some problems, and the cleaning would be a chore especially if one stuck. If you make a lot of tortillas, you might want to scout thrift stores for a couple of electric griddles. You could then set up assemble lines. (Aldi's sometimes has them for $20 each, and they come in handy for a number of things.

Would you share some of your recipes? That sun-dried tomato and basil sounds good. And do they freeze well?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 8:58PM
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I've been using a cook book called, Gourmet Tortillas: Exotic and Traditional Tortilla Dishes, that I found at my local library. I've made some of the recipes exactly but I've also started deriving my own flavors. My favorite so far has been my dried tomato and basil tortillas. Here's my recipe:

Dried Tomato and Basil Tortillas

Mix these dry ingredients:

2 1/2 cups white flour (substitute 1/4 cup whole wheat if desired.)
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. ground dehydrated tomatoes

Cut in with a pastry knife:

2 tbsp. shortening

Stir in:

1/2 cup finely chopped basil


3/4 cup water

Mix and knead until soft and smooth.

Now divide the dough into 8 balls and let them rest 15 minutes. Cover them with a damp dish towel to keep them from drying out.

Preheat your electric skillet to about 350 degrees (medium hot.)

Roll out one tortilla to a paper thin thickness. It will rise up nicely on the griddle so you want to get it as thin as possible.

Toss the tortilla onto the hot griddle and bake for about 60 seconds on each side. While the tortilla is baking you should have enough time to roll out the next one.

As soon as each tortilla is done baking place it inside a folded damp dish towel. (It's fine to stack them all together.) Stacking the tortillas together inside the moist dish towel will soften up any crusting from the skillet and make them nice and pliable.


I made my dried tomatoes myself by putting about a half pound of tomatoes in a small electric dehydrator overnight. Tomatoes are mostly water so when they are dried there's not much left. :( But what is left has a nice intense flavor.

And yes, they do freeze very well. You can just take one out of the freezer and defrost it in the microwave for 15 or 20 seconds and it's just like new. :) Do be careful with them when frozen though because they will be brittle and you don't want to break them in half. :( (Once defrosted they will become nice and flexible again.)

- Steve

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 10:04PM
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I thought I'd add that a friend of mine loaned me two tortilla making tools to try out tonight and I wasn't impressed with either one.

One was a simple press. Pretty much like this one. The problem with this one was that 1.) it didn't have a big enough surface area to make burrito sized tortillas and 2.) it couldn't squash the dough thin enough.

The other tool was a fancy gadget, the Villaware Grand Wrap Flatbread Maker) that is suppose to flatten and cook the tortilla on the same surface. But it didn't work well either. The manual (and my friend) warned me that you have to keep squashing then releasing the dough as it gives off steam otherwise the tortilla will explode! Despite the warnings and my careful attempts to follow the directions, I blew up two tortillas before reverting back to my good old fashioned wooden rolling pin. ;(

But looking on the bright side, at least my rolling technique is improving! :)

- Steve

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 10:17PM
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Thanks for the recipe, and for confirming the freeze. I'm getting tired of tossing out tortillas. When DH was here, they go fast. With just ne, not so much.

I have the press. It works better for corn tortillas or tostada shells. I've had no luck with it for flour tortillas at all. Sometimes the simple tools work best. :)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 10:29PM
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Thanks for posting the recipes! I agree about the press. It is better for corn than flour, but I don't like it much for corn, either.

I wonder how the press would work for pupusas?


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 12:49PM
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